On February 25th of 1957, a boy between the ages of 3 and 7 years old was found in a cardboard box in a wooden area in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Despite all investigation and possible theories. The boy in the box stays even today as an unresolved case in America’s history.
A college student walking through a field in the countryside of Philadelphia’s Fox Chase neighborhood found this cardboard packing box on a pile of garbage. Chillingly the box had been used as a makeshift coffin as inside laid the corpse of a small child. When the student looked inside the box, he discovered the body of a small boy naked, wrapped in a blanket, with bruises all over.
A case with more questions than answers and more dead ends than conclusions gave rise to many theories. While all of them seem to make sense, each has a missing piece in this jigsaw puzzle.
The Foster Home
A representative of the restorative analyst’s office named Remington Bristow, who sought after carrying a conclusion to the case up until his passing in 1993, reached a clairvoyant from New Jersey who let him know there was a man and lady, who had transformed a chateau into a Foster home. The psychic was pretty sure that this is where the boy came from. So Bristow looked everywhere trying to locate the specific Foster home and eventually found it one and a half miles away from where the boy’s body was found.
On interviewing the family at one point he came up with nothing, and then eventually, the family moved away and had an estate sale. So Bristow attended the estate sale and found some alarming items in the home. There was a bassinet in the home that was identical to the one that was found in the box that the boy was in. It was also from JCPenney.
There was also a blanket hanging on the clothesline that was identical to the blanket the boy had been found wrapped in. Bristow theorized that the man running the foster home had a stepdaughter who gave birth to a son illegitimately. At this time it was widely frowned upon to have a child out of wedlock. Therefore, in order to get rid of the shame and sin upon the family, they decided to just get rid of the boy himself.
However, in 1998 police interviewed the man and the stepdaughter and were able to almost 100% rule out that they have any sort of relationship with this dead boy. DNA reports of the stepdaughter and the boy also concluded as negative and so this theory was ruled out.
Mr. Kenneth And Mrs. Irene Dudley
Mr. Dudley was a carnival worker and in 1961 an investigation into his family was started and was found that they had 10 children. They would really put under the microscope when their seven-year-old daughter died from malnutrition and neglect. She was not given a burial, rather she was wrapped into a blanket and left in the woods just like how they had found the boy in the box.
More investigation proved that 7 out of 10 children had died from the exact same causes of malnutrition and neglect and not a single one of them had been given a proper burial. This seems like much more evidence, but when they dug deeper into this case, they found that none of these children were the boy in the box and he still remains nameless.
The Lady ‘M’
Another hypothesis was presented in February 2002 by a lady distinguished uniquely as “M.” Police considered “M’s” story to be conceivable however were grieved by her declaration, as she had a past filled with psychological maladjustment. When talked with, neighbors who approached “M’s” home denied that there had been a little youngster living in the house. They said that her indications were “ridiculous”.
“M” revealed that in 1954 her abusive mother had “bought” the boy named Jonathan from his birth parents. The boy was then exposed to dangerous abuse: sexual and physical. She said that one night had been for dinner, and then the boy got sick and the mother then got extremely angry and threw the boy against the floor repeatedly. He then became unconscious, after which she put him in the bathtub at some point during the bath he passing away.
The details from M’s story absolutely shocks the police because they had never released to the public before about the contents in his stomach wall, which were beans, and his fingertips had been shriveled and wrinkled as if I had been submerged in the water around the time of his death.
However, the medical examiner did not determine rowing as his cause of death, that was one of the big things that they had not figured out. M said that her mother forced her to help dispose of his body in the Fox Chase area.
“M” proceeded to state that as they were planning to expel the kid’s body from the storage compartment of a vehicle, a passing male driver pulled close by to ask whether they required assistance. The two ladies disregarded the eventual Good Samaritan (while being mindful so as to shield their vehicle’s tag from his view). The man, in the long run, drove off. This story authenticated private declaration given by a male observer in 1957, who said that the body had been put in a container recently disposed of at the scene.
The Boy Was Actually A Girl
Criminological craftsman Frank Bender built up a hypothesis that the unfortunate casualty may have been raised as a young lady. The youngster’s amateurish hairstyle, which seemed to have been acting in the scramble, was the reason for the situation just as the presence of the eyebrows having been styled. Drinking spree later discharged a sketch of the unidentified kid with long hair, mirroring the strands found on the body.
Some theories believe that M’s story is quite possible because she knew insignificant details about the case that the police could not bring forward to the public. One such was that of eating beans. ‘M’s mother might have wanted a little girl instead of a little boy. Buying babies would have been a difficult process and because she got her hands on a boy she decided to keep it.
There were many surgeries in the groin area, mostly done in a haphazard manner, which proves that the mother might have mutilated this little boy to look more feminine for her own desire. His eyebrows were tweezed to appear more feminine just like his long hair being cut abruptly to erase the possibility of the police tracing a girl child.
This idea might be quite far-fetched but this also explains why the neighbors don’t remember seeing a little boy running around because it is possible that there wasn’t a little boy at all. It might have been a little girl who the neighbors thought have no trace of a connection to this case.
The police tried for a long time to find parents or at least relatives, but they did not succeed. One of the police officers even suggested that you need to look for the parents of the girl, not the boy since the child’s hair was cut out of the box after his death. Over 400,000 leaflets were distributed throughout the United States, targeting both boy and girl, but the police did not receive a single adequate call.
“America’s Unknown Child”
At first, the unidentified little fellow was covered in a Potter’s field, however, he got uncovered in 1998 to separate D.N.A. from a tooth. He was in this manner reburied on November 11, 1998, at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Cedarbrook, Philadelphia. The child of the man answerable for the first internment at that point gave each vital thing for a subsequent entombment. Furthermore, a site was likewise made to help keep him from overlooked and as a hotspot for individuals to leave new leads.
After over 60’s years, it appears to be likely that America’s Unknown Child will perpetually hold that moniker. However, the expectation hasn’t been lost totally. Nearly everybody at any point associated with the case is as yet following leads and giving it their best shot to give the kid his character. One more declaration, made in August 2018, gives more expectation. Barbara Rae-Venter uncovered an endeavor is been made to distinguish the Boy In The Box utilizing the DNA methods she used to divulge the Golden State Killer/Original Night Stalker. Expectations and supplicates connect with at long last give the kid a name.
Huge open consideration and media inclusion occurred at and during the reburial, and right up ’til the present time, inhabitants keep on leaving blossoms and squishy toys. To this date, the tombstone despite everything peruses: “America’s Unknown Child.”